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Motion for a resolution - B7-0498/2013Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the rights of migrant workers in Qatar

19.11.2013 - (2013/2952(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Véronique De Keyser, Ana Gomes, Richard Howitt, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Joanna Senyszyn, Mitro Repo, Pino Arlacchi, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Marc Tarabella on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0498/2013

Procedure : 2013/2952(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the rights of migrant workers in Qatar


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its report on European Union relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (2010/2233(INI))


- having regard to the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)


- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,



A. whereas on 26 June 2013 Emir of Qatar Hamand bin Khalifa Al Thani, who had ruled since 1995 handed over power to his son Tamim bin Hamad;


B. whereas Qatar´s national strategy focuses primarily on economic and social development, but also recognises the need to improve labour relations;

C. whereas Qatar is experiencing a dramatic construction boom, including stadiums and infrastructure to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup;

D. whereas there are approximately 1.35 million foreign nationals - the vast majority from Asian countries including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka working in Qatar who account for 94% of the total workforce;


E. whereas the International Labour Organisation have estimated that an extra 1 million migrant workers will need to be recruited to deliver the infrastructure required to host the World Cup;

F. whereas there is a widespread exploitation and abuse of the human rights of migrant workers, including forced labour and human trafficking; whereas those affected have limited and ineffective means of redress; whereas this abuse casts doubts as to whether Qatar is an appropriate venue to host the 2022 World Cup;


G: whereas the oppressive Sponsorship system gives employers an excessive level of control over the lives of their foreign employees;


H. whereas employers consistently and illegally withhold their employees' passports, and whereas workers can face the prospect of being trapped in Qatar without a salary and unable to change job;


I. whereas Qatar´s Labour Law contains protections for workers, but these protections are not effectively enforced, and several categories of workers - including domestic workers - are excluded from the scope of the Labour Law´s protections;


J. whereas, under the Labour Law, migrant workers´ freedom of association is undermined by the fact they are not allowed to join or form trade unions;



1. Condemns the widespread abuse of human rights of migrant workers recruited to work on sites related to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, which in some cases have led to deaths of workers;


2. Warns the government of Qatar that the exploitation and the abuse of human rights of the migrant workers seriously undermines its efforts to position itself as a major political player on the international stage;


3. Urges the Qatari government to fundamentally overhaul the "sponsorship" system, so that the workers are no longer left vulnerable to exploitation and at risk of being trapped in abusive situations;


4. Calls on the Qatari government to reform the Labour Law extending the scope of its protections, guaranteeing labour rights for domestic workers and other excluded groups;


5. Calls on the Qatari government to respect the freedom of association of the migrant workers, including by allowing them to join or form trade unions;


6. Calls on the EU Member States with strong financial and/or bilateral relations with Qatar, notably UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, to prioritise the rights of the migrant workers in their relations with Qatar;


7. Calls on the major labour-sending country governments, notably Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philipines and Sri Lanka, to assume their responsibility to protect their own nationals from deceptive recruitment agencies in their countries and intervene on behalf of their nationals whose rights are abused when working in Qatar and other Persian Gulf States


8. Calls on FIFA/World Cup related institutions and corporate actors, such as construction companies operating in Qatar, to take full responsibility to prevent abuses against workers who have been employed on sites of the World Cup 2022 and others;


9. Calls on Qatar to sign and ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;


10. Calls on international sport organisations to assess the state of human rights in the respective country when granting major sports events;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Emir of Qatar, President of the Council of the European Union, the President of the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Gulf Cooperation Council secretariat and the governments and parliaments of the GCC member states.